Pope reminds Christians persecuted by Communism: The danger is now inside us

 | 
12/09/2021
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Although the Pope's trip to Slovakia was meant to have a more relaxed schedule, Pope Francis wanted to meet with representatives of the country's various Christian Churches just after his arrival. 

66% of Slovaks are Catholic and 8% are Protestant. The Pope met with representatives of these Churches at the apostolic nunciature in Bratislava.

He was greeted on their behalf by an evangelical pastor, who told him that every Christian Church in Slovakia rejoices in the successes of other Christians, even those of other denominations. 

The Pope recalled how all Christians in Slovakia were persecuted during country's communist rule. 

POPE FRANCIS
“Now you share a part of this journey in which you experience the beauty, but also the difficulty of living the faith as free people. Indeed, there is the temptation to become slaves again, not of a regime, but of an even worse slavery, an interior one.”

Pope Francis asked them to help one another avoid becoming slaves to comfort, or seek ways of exercising control or privilege.

POPE FRANCIS
“How can we dream of a Europe free of ideologies if we do not have the courage to put the freedom of Jesus before the needs of individual groups of believers? Rationales of convenience, historical reasons and political ties cannot be immovable obstacles in our path.”

They prayed a psalm together to close the meeting, and as a gift the participants gave him a painting which symbolizes the founding of the Church. 

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